Spring Training: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Spring Training: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Thu Mar 02 2023 At 1:07 PM

TD Ballpark

311 Douglas Avenue
Dunedin, Florida 34698

TD Ballpark
Dunedin, FL, 34698

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TORONTO BLUE JAYS

The Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Toronto. The Blue Jays compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member clubThe Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Toronto. The Blue Jays compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. Since 1989, the team has played its home games primarily at Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto. The name "Blue Jays" originates from the bird of the same name, and blue is also the traditional colour of Toronto's collegiate and professional sports teams including the Maple Leafs (ice hockey) and the Argonauts (Canadian football). In 1976, out of the over 4,000 suggestions, 154 people selected the name "Blue Jays." In addition, the team was originally owned by the Labatt Brewing Company, makers of the popular beer Labatt Blue. Colloquially nicknamed the "Jays", the team's official colours are royal blue, navy blue, red, and white. An expansion franchise, the club was founded in Toronto in 1977. Originally based at Exhibition Stadium, the team began playing its home games at SkyDome upon its opening in 1989. Since 2000, the Blue Jays have been owned by Rogers Communications and in 2004, SkyDome was purchased by that company, which renamed it Rogers Centre. Due to border restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blue Jays played home games at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida for April and May of the 2021 season, and Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York for the 2020 season as well as June and July 2021, returning home to Toronto as of July 30 of that year. They are the second MLB franchise to be based outside the United States, and currently the only team based outside the U.S. after the first Canadian franchise, the Montreal Expos, became the Washington Nationals in 2005. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Blue Jays went through struggles typical of an expansion team, frequently finishing last in their division. In 1983, they had their first winning season and two years later, became division champions. From 1985 to 1993, the Blue Jays were an AL East powerhouse, winning five division championships in nine seasons, including three consecutive from 1991 to 1993. During that run, the team also became back-to-back World Series champions in 1992 and 1993, led by a core group of award-winning All-Star players, including Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, John Olerud, and Devon White. The Blue Jays became the first (and, to date, only) team outside the U.S. to appear in and win a World Series, and the fastest AL expansion team to do so, winning in its 16th year. As of 2019, they are one of only two MLB franchises that are undefeated through multiple World Series appearances, along with the National League's Miami Marlins. After 1993, the Blue Jays failed to qualify for the playoffs for 21 consecutive seasons, until clinching a playoff berth and division championship in 2015. The team clinched a second consecutive playoff berth in 2016, after securing an AL wild card position. In both years, the Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers in the AL Division Series, but lost the AL Championship Series. Most recently, they qualified for the playoffs as a wild card team in 2020 and 2022. The Blue Jays and the Atlanta Braves are the only two MLB teams under corporate ownership; the Blue Jays are the only American League team to be under such ownership. From 1977 to 2022, the Blue Jays' overall win–loss record is 3,598–3,627 (.498).

PITTSBURGH PIRATES

The Pittsburgh Pirates are an American professional baseball team based in Pittsburgh. The Pirates compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member clubThe Pittsburgh Pirates are an American professional baseball team based in Pittsburgh. The Pirates compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Founded as part of the American Association in 1881 under the name Pittsburgh Allegheny, the club joined the National League in 1887 and was a member of the National League East from 1969 through 1993. The Pirates have won five World Series championships, nine National League pennants, nine National League East division titles and made three appearances in the Wild Card Game. Despite struggling in the 1880s and 1890s, the Pirates were among the best teams in baseball shortly after the turn of the 20th century. They won three consecutive NL titles from 1901 to 1903, played in the inaugural World Series in 1903 and won their first World Series in 1909 behind Honus Wagner. The Pirates took part in arguably the most famous World Series ending, winning the 1960 World Series against the New York Yankees on a walk-off home run by Bill Mazeroski, the only time that Game 7 of the World Series has ever ended with a home run. They also won the 1971 World Series, led by the talent of Roberto Clemente, and the 1979 World Series under the slogan "We Are Family", led by "Pops" Willie Stargell. After a run of regular-season success in the early 1990s, the Pirates struggled mightily over the following decades with 20 consecutive losing seasons from 1993 to 2012—the longest such streak in American professional sports history. The Pirates returned to the postseason in 2013 and advanced to the NLDS. The team qualified for the postseason again in 2014 and 2015. The Pirates currently have the sixth-longest World Series championship drought (behind the Cleveland Guardians, Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, and Seattle Mariners—all of which except the Guardians have never won a World Series), second-longest World Series appearance drought in Major League Baseball (behind only the Mariners, who have never appeared in a World Series), the longest pennant drought in the National League (their most recent showing being their victory in the 1979 World Series) the longest League Championship Series appearance drought in either league and are tied for the longest MLB division championship drought with the Colorado Rockies and Miami Marlins (the latter two teams having never won a division title and who joined the NL as expansion teams the season immediately following the Pirates' most recent division title). From 1882 to 2021, the Pirates have an overall record of 10,625–10,547 (.502 winning 'percentage').The Pirates are also often referred to as the "Bucs" or the "Buccos" (derived from buccaneer, a synonym for pirate). Since 2001 the team has played its home games at PNC Park, a 39,000-seat stadium along the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh's North Side. The Pirates previously played at Forbes Field from 1909 to 1970 and at Three Rivers Stadium from 1970 to 2000. Since 1948 the Pirates' colors have been black, gold and white, matching the other major professional sports teams in Pittsburgh, the Steelers and the Penguins (and the minor league Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC). These colors are derived from the flag of Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh is the only North American city where all the professional sports teams share the same colors.

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